With this years Bouchercon ongoing in Raleigh, North Carolina, we thought it would be fun to put up this story, set in nearby Asheville, first published in Akashic’s Mondays Are Murder series. Rosen takes an innocuous setting and with a little slow burn and dark satire, creates a fun, cleanly written,mini-thriller.
“How much is this?” the middle-aged man asked, irritated. He pointed a finger at a bunch of lacinato kale—fresh in, a chalk-marked sign indicated, from a farm outside Hickory. He had been waiting at the stand for five minutes, and was not about to wait a minute longer.
“Four-fifty,” said the man behind the table. He looked too old to still be farming, and he spoke softly. It was hard to hear him over the banjo playing nearby. The upright bass didn’t make it any easier. “That’s fresh in from Hick’ry.”
“That’s what the sign says!” replied the man as he stuffed two bunches into his tote. The WNCW logo covered the canvas bag in big blue letters that nobody could miss. “I usually do rainbow chard, but it’s disgusting this week. It looks like it’s from the SuperSaver.”